BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 4, 2016) – Antron Brown and the Matco Tools/U.S. Army team clinched the No. 1 seed in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs that start in two weeks near Charlotte by qualifying for Monday’s championship eliminations of the 62nd annual NHRA U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis.
But Brown and the Matco Tools team did so in impressive fashion by continuing a streak of top-five qualifying positions at the past 10 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events.
“Our number one goal coming into this weekend was to get that number one seed for the Countdown,” relayed Brown. “That’s where all of our focus was. Getting it is a weight lifted off our shoulders, now we can just go for it tomorrow and not have to worry about anything. We want to win this race.”
Brown and the team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald with assistant Brad Mason claimed the fifth starting spot for the Labor Day eliminations that will be aired live on FOX broadcast network beginning at 1 p.m. (ET) Monday.
“We’ve been very productive this weekend,” Brown said. “The track has definitely been really good out there and the competition this weekend is insane, so that’s going to make for a really good race day. Our whole team right now is pulling together, digging deep for tomorrow. Today gave us those runs that we need for the middle of the day tomorrow when it’s hot so that was crucial.”
Brown predicts tough racing conditions on Monday at the track just minutes from Don Schumacher Racing headquarters in Brownsburg. The Matco Tools team will race TJ Zizzo in the opening round of eliminations.
“That’s when you’re going to see who the best of the best is tomorrow, you’re going to see who can survive the heat because it’s going to be different track conditions than what we’ve had most of the weekend. Tomorrow is going to be very interesting and our Matco Tools/U.S. Army team is looking forward to that challenge.”
The Matco Tools team won the U.S. Nationals in 2011 and Brown has two more Indy wins in the Pro Stock Motorcycle category.
“You have to be versatile and we’re very used to that over here. That’s what our team thrives on, those types of challenges.”
No. 1 qualifier: Clay Millican (Great Clips Racing) 3.692 sec.-track record, 316.82 mph
ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools/U.S. Army
Qualifying position: No. 5
First round opponent: TJ Zizzo
FRIDAY: 3.725 sec., 326.00 mph, (Session 1)
SATURDAY:3.776, 324.59, (Session 2); 3.730, 323.74, (Session 3)
SUNDAY: 4.166, 201.52, (Session 4); 5.990, 110.09, (Session 5)
TRAXXAS TOP FUEL NITRO SHOOTOUT
First round of Shootout concurrently with second qualifying session, and final round of Shootout is part of the third session. (DSR drivers in CAPS)
TONY SCHUMACHER (3.777 sec., 330.30 mph) def. Brittany Force (4.021, 270.64)
SHAWN LANGDON (3.755, 324.30) def. Steve Torrence (3.756, 327.19)
LEAH PRITCHETT (3.781, 329.75-career best) def. Doug Kalitta (3.837, 314.09)
ANTRON BROWN (3.776, 324.59) def. Terry McMillen (5.917, 114.16)
SCHUMACHER (3.727, 323.04) def. BROWN (3.738, 322.65)
PRITCHETT (3.749, 322.81) def. LANGDON (3.773, 326.24)
SCHUMACHER (3.717, 328.86) def. PRITCHETT (3.738, 317.05)